I bought my first press rather quickly when I discovered the price of .44 mag ammo at the store was for 20-25 rounds instead of 50. Ammo is much higher now, so I'm glad I got into it. My first press was a Lee Pro 1000 that I got from the Internet for about $135 delivered to the door. The priming system eventually drove me to Dillon, but I did load thousands of rounds. I've been shooting cowboy action matches for ten years and I would have gone to the poor house if I bought everything factory new. When we first began, we shot 7 times a month. Now we do 3-4. I like the money saving part of it, not endless hours cranking out ammo, so I like a high volume setup. I load shotgun, too. When we started, you could buy a box of game loads for $2.75/box and now it's about $6.99/box. A Lee Anniversary kit or turret press kit would be a cheap way to start. Lee dies are cheaper than the other brands and work well. You could buy a Dillon Square Deal, which is their cheapest progressive. If all you do is pistol rounds, that's all you need. Whatever you do, buy several manuals and read them first before reloading anything. I suggest the Lee and the Lyman manuals as a start. You can get more later on. For a variety of loads, I like the small plastic bound Load Books which are caliber specific. The one in .38 Special says it contains "1,418 proven & tested loads." They are many places for about $8-9.